The Commonwealth Government's Skills for Education and Employment programme (SEE) provides language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) training to eligible job seekers. In addition, LLN training is embedded in many current training packages. Some state governments also provide additional funding to address LLN needs.
The SEE programme provides up to 800 hours of high quality training, and eligible job seekers can be referred to the programme by the Department of Human Services and employment service providers, including providers of RJCP. Jobs Australia convenes a network of members who deliver SEE around Australia and holds regular teleconferences and webinars to enable members to share knowledge and experience about programme delivery and the needs of learners. We also act as a voice to government on issues of shared concern.
The term foundation skills refers to the core skills a person needs to get and keep a job. While adequate LLN skills form part of this other important components include a range of employability skills (sometimes referred to as soft skills). Some of these are the capacity to collaborate, solve problems and manage oneself in the workplace. Job seekers need to have good levels of a range of these skills in order to get and keep a job.
The development of the National Foundation Skills Strategy has been an important step in increasing understanding about the need to improve the overall level of foundation skills among Australians of working age. This is an issue for both job seekers and employers.
Jobs Australia provides updates and briefings on developments in this area. These include the current development of the Foundation Skills Assessment Tool (FSAT). This is an online assessment tool which is likely to be used widely across employment services in the future.